Why it's time to drop the job title 'founder'

Be the chief or be the boss, but don’t be the ‘founder’, writes Otto Stevens, partner, at Waypoint Partners.

by Otto Stevens
Don't be a founder

Working with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to take their company to the next level, I see a lot of email signatures. And amid all the ‘CEOs’ and ‘managing directors’, I also see a lot of people referring to themselves as ‘founder’ or ‘founding partner’. 

Now, I take my hat off to anyone who sets up a business. It’s not easy and these people are the lifeblood of our economy, but I do wonder if using that particular job title might be doing them more harm than good. 

To begin with, it’s rather a passive term. We know a CEO is in charge of driving strategy and hitting the business plan every day, and we know a client services partner is actively working with clients to improve their experience, but ‘founder’ isn’t something you do every day. It smacks of a moment in time, of setting up your business in a garage with a single laptop and a printer years ago. It isn’t relevant to selling services or your market proposition.

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